ATTENTION !! Existing DVD-V owners looking for better stereo playback


Well-known Member
Attention DVD-V owners looking for better stereo playback :

Dudes & Dudesses, I have just started up a thread on another forum that I think will get a few replies over here (or is at least worthy of discussion IMHO) with Matt F (who is a regualr over here as well).

Matt F Wrote :

Going off on a bit of a tangent - HFC still insist on referring to Dolby Digital and DTS as "lossy" i.e. lower quality than CD. I made the mistake of claiming that DD/DTS recordings are of a lower quality than CD on the forum and got the following reply from their CEO:

"It is in my opinion incorrect to state that a signal recorded in DTS or DD is of lower quality as that recorded on CD.

DTS and DD use intelligent data compression: they do not simply put the signal through a filter. They remove what is inaudible and work with variable compression for that purpose. Just like removing the ticking wrist watch from your arm when Concorde is starting and you not even recognising it.

It is a purist view and would certainly give subject to a hot ABX blind test, that all compression must be 'evil'.

Just check your ears or eyes and you will find that these make also use of data compresssion techniques.

Dr. Udo Zucker CEO TAG McLaren Audio

Matt : 16/48 PCM on DVD & Dolby Digital 5.1 48Khz downmixed to stereo.

I read your views on the WHF thread & compeltely agreed, this deserves its own post IMO, as I have been having wonderful results from 48Khz on DVDs since I got my current DAC (48 Khz capable), So I would have to agree with Dr. Zucker. Many Music DVDs now come with 16/48 Linear PCM tracks as standard rather than 5.1 surround, and the worst offender I know of is actually Dolby Digital 2.0 : I dont know what the engineers do to this format but It is unbelievably stuffy sounding, no dynamics whatsoever on a percentage scale I reckon it is @ 60% to 70% of what 16/48 sounds like. Even 5.1 48Khz surround mixes downmixed into 48Khz stereo tracks are truly wonderful.

In the last few months listening to DVD-Vs of various films including Oceans 11 & Blade 2 to name a couple, I have been enjoying the stereo sound performance of my system even more than the visual side (Even rewinding scenes to hear the music 2 or 3 times), I used to own a 96Khz capable DAC and never recalled the vibes im getting now, just goes to show that Zuckie & the boys definitely know how to get the best from DAC technology. I have found a few DVD Vs of music concerts that are simply awesome as well @ 16/48, namely Neil Finn & U2s Elevation Tour, The latest DVD of U2 : Electrical Storm is also 16/48 PCM endowed, I hope the DVD industry carry on doing this it is.

So like you I struggle to find how 16/48 PCM is lossy when it is in fact a superior PCM spec than 44.1Khz, the results of multi channel 48 Khz mixes downmixed into a stereo PCM DAC (IME) also suggest that the press are barking up the wrong tree (Have they tried it for example ?). So again it swings back nicely to the fact that many existing DVD-V owners are missing out on well recorded soundtracks that can be accessed by using a 48Khz (or above : 96Khz) stereo PCM DAC, a big difference to the advice these mags give when a DVD owners is asking how to get better CD playback, I have yet to see advice from the monkeys over at WHF for adding a DAC that many people find blows an integrated CDP out of the water whilst @ 16/44.1 Khz, the "Other" benefit being the audio performance ONLY Available from 48Khz encoded material on DVD-V discs. There is so much people are missing I guess the struggle to advocate DACs continues.

BTW I have no doubt that TAGs latest AV DACs are better than my DAC 20 but there is such a wonderful performance awaiting dudes who will try something a little different ie using a current DVD-V transport into a DAC, not just CD being improved but the additional enjoyement (stereo wise) from DVD-V discs. ….. IMHO of course duders


Active Member
Interesting. I'll try out some stuff on my Wadia DAC. Do all DVD-V discs output 48kHz PCM? If not are there only a few that do and how can you tell if a disc does or doesn't when purchasing? Presumably, one would have to go into the setup menu to output PCM otherwise the DD/DTS bitstream would blow your speakers.


I read several times that DVD players are better than CD players, except for the DACs, for instance they have more memory wich helps correcting jitter problems, and even better transports, but you need the ones with double heads, one for DD - DTS, the other for PCM...

So with a good external DAC, like the ones in my TAG AV32R, not only you can read more formats, but you also get better sound... I know you can get jitter problems with external DACs, you need a good digital coax and mains supply...

My audiophile friends just cannot believe I use a DVD player, FMJ, for CDs when they ear it...


Well-known Member
Dood : All standard DVD Video tracks (Im not talking of DVD Audio here at all) in DD 5.1 or DD 2.0 are encoded at 48Khz : the player either sends a bitream signal (in DD 5.1s case) or a PCM signal, now you can override the output type in some DVD players, I have in mine for example for sending purely PCM data down the output, this of course is due to my DAC being a PCM device. My DAC will handle a bitstream output as will any DAC up to the sampling freq concerned. This is achived by changing the output menu on your DVD player (If it has one) there is no problem with DD 48 Khz bitstream into a pcm DAC even 5.1 mixes are just downmixed to 2 channel 48 Khz pcm before being processed in the DAC. But you are correct about DTS, this signal does not send a nice sound when sent via a PCM DAC & its analogue outputs towards your amp, I have mine turned off at all times (but I dont have a AV amp or set up purely stereo, so this does not effect me).

Lowrider : the industry held view is that DVD players used as CD players are not very good, this is down basically to the noisy environment that the video circuitry induces, this couple to the all the power supply sharing and you have a recipe for high jitter in the player which can effect the playback. Now that is most cases but a lot of DVD players have quite low traces of jitter for example Pioneers new 656 player, they vary from model to model & manufaccer to man. Jitter for me is not so much a problem when the DAC a feed is being sent to is designed with great attention to jitter recovery clocking. A huge part of why DACs can sound good is down to the separation of the transport & DAC and the individual power supply the have, jitter is held up as the main problem for digital feeds in DACs, but one box CDPs have it internally from their transport to internal DAC as well I would add. If your friend like what they heard with CD, you should fire up a DVD with a 16/48 PCM track on it, I think they will be surprised what they hear from DVD Video into a DAC that can process at that resolution. Im well impressed by it.


Sure, when a DVD has a PCM track, I prefer it with DPLII to the DD or DTS tracks...

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